Sara Caswell is fast becoming one of today’s foremost jazz violinists through her technical facility and gift for lyricism. Originally from Bloomington, Indiana, she began playing violin at age 5, made her orchestral debut at 15, earned degrees from Indiana University and Manhattan School of Music, and amassed over 100 awards in the jazz and classical competition worlds. Currently she gives concerts nationwide with her two groups, the Sara Caswell Quartet and the Caswell Sisters Quintet, and has soloed numerous times in Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra. She has released two highly acclaimed CDs—First Song and But Beautiful—and is working on a new CD project with her sister, jazz vocalist Rachel Caswell, and jazz pianist Fred Hersch.
Since the fall of 2010, Sara has been touring with bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding (Grammy winner for Best New Artist, 2011) in support of Spalding’s CD Chamber Music Society. She also tours with violinist Mark O’Connor as a member of his American String Celebration and has toured with violinist Darol Anger’s Four Generations of Jazz Violin. She is part of the Randy Newman Project, led by vocalist Roseanna Vitro and pianist Mark Soskin, and has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Gene Bertoncini, Charlie Byrd, Skitch Henderson, Bucky Pizzarelli, Lynne Arriale, and John Clayton, as well as Jon Gordon, Ike Sturm, the Alan Ferber Nonet and Strings, and JaLaLa (featuring vocalists Janis Siegel, Laurel Masse, and Lauren Kinhan).
Sara Caswell’s teaching experience includes the Mark O’Connor String Camps, the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops, the Indiana University String Academy, the Manhattan School of Music College and Precollege Divisions, and a private studio. In addition, she has given numerous jazz string improvisation workshops and master classes and is involved with MENC (National Association of Music Education), JEN (Jazz Education Network), and ASTA (American String Teachers Association).
Manhattan School of Music Precollege faculty since 2005.
Photo credit: Ann Schertz Photography